30 Sep 2012
While there is still much to understand about the spiritual nature of animals and their level of consciousness, it is quite evident that these amazing beings have the capacity of expressing love, compassion and forgiveness. We could learn much from our pets and other animals if we but open our minds to the possibility that they are capable of much higher states of consciousness than what we give them credit for. The list below comprises a summary of spiritual characteristics attributed to some specific members of the animal kingdom that can help us develop our own spirituality.
Black Cat - Cats have a lot of symbolism in spiritual work. They can perceive and sense things that are not evident to the human senses. Cats have a great sensitivity to energy. This is evident if you watch a cat’s behavior in the house of someone who has recently passed. They sense the energy of their master’s long after they are gone. Cats make wonderful companions in spiritual works. They act as messengers between the magick worker and the spirit realm.
Snake – Much like nature itself, snakes are free and flowing. The shedding of the skin is very much in order with the universal dance of death and rebirth. They teach us that once something dies we must learn to trust that something else is born to replace it. The snake is a spiritual symbol that shows us that we do not need to be afraid of losing something or someone. It represents the resistance and stress we produce for ourselves when we refuse to let go and trust the higher powers. Snakes are down to earth and practical they love freedom and will fight to the death to defend it.
FLY – It is hard to imagine that such a lowly insect as a fly would have spiritual significance. But in the realms of spiritual work there is nothing off limits. In ancient Christianity the fly was depicted as a symbol of temptation and impurity. Based on this tradition the fly is sometimes featured as the Devil Card in the tarot. Its image represents low impulses and impurity in human behavior. However, for Native Americans the fly is considered a purifier. In some rituals they ask the fly to absorb and consume the negative energy affecting an individual and fly away with it. Some Native American traditions consider the fly to be a divine messenger. The tiny animal has extraordinary visionary qualities that can detect more frequencies that the human eye. Perhaps one of their most important spiritual significance is to remind us to expand our vision of the world.
Black Hen – On the spiritual realm Black hens are a symbol of cleansing, energy and protection. Their eggs are used by shamanic healers for cleansing and divination. In order to cleanse people of negative influences and purify the aura, the egg is rubbed over the afflicted person so it can absorb the energy and the affliction. Afterwards, it is cracked in water and its formation is read. Spiritual workers consider eggs as producers of life but they can also draw energy from life. A cleansing with eggs is believed to draw the negative influences affecting a person upon itself thereby providing relief and purification for the person being treated.
Scorpion – Scorpions are masters of self defense and self preservation. They symbolize readiness and preparedness. The small creature is charged with spiritual energy and the ability to conceal itself and hide its power. The sighting of a scorpion can be a warning of the need to protect yourself from potential harm. It can also be a reminder not to inflict harm or suffering unto others. In the spiritual realm this powerful creature represents transformation, secretiveness, and a mystical nature.
Tick – Ticks are adaptive and resilient, they patiently wait in the shadows and then cling to their victims. Perhaps it is this staying power of ticks that makes them so desirable in spiritual works specially those performed with the intention of love drawing. Many spiritual workers prepare extracts and oils designed to attract love and make them cling to the person seeking the attraction. In the Native American tradition ticks are considered wise animals that transmit ideas, have great patience and ingenuity. They also have the ability to use heat and movement to see. Without a doubt the tick has earned its reputation as a love drawing resource.
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30 Sep 2012
Aunque todavía nos falta mucho para poder entender la naturaleza espiritual de los animales y sus niveles de conciencia es muy evidente que estas asombrosas criaturas son capaces de expresar amor, compasión y perdón. Pudiéramos aprender mucho de ellos si nos abrimos a la posibilidad de que estos son capaces de niveles de conciencia mucho más altos de lo que nosotros pensamos. La lista que aquí presentamos sumarisa las características espirituales que se le atribuyen a ciertos miembros del reino animal y que pueden ayudarnos a desarrollar nuestra propia espiritualidad.
Gato Negro – Los gatos tienen mucho simbolismo en los trabajos espirituales. Estas creaturas son muy perceptivas y reciben energías que no son evidentes a los ojos de los humanos. Esto se puede observar si usted pone atención al comportamiento de un gato en la casa de alguien que haya fallecido recientemente. Ellos continúan sintiendo la energía de sus dueños aun cuando estos ya no estén. Los gatos son grandes compañeros para realizar trabajos espirituales. Actúan como mensajeros entre los practicantes de magia y la dimensión espiritual.
Maja (Culebra o Serpiente) – Al igual que la naturaleza las serpientes son libres y fluidas. Su cambio de piel esta muy en orden con la danza universal de muerte y renacimiento. Nos enseñan que una vez que algo muere, algo nace para reponerlo. La serpiente es el símbolo espiritual que nos demuestra que no debemos de tener miedo a perder algo o alguien. Representan la resistencia y conflictos que creamos para nosotros mismos cuando no dejamos ir las cosas y no confiamos en los poderes Divinos. Las serpientes son sencillas y practicas aman la libertad y están dispuestas a pelear hasta la muerte para defenderla.
MOSCA – Es difícil imaginar que un insecto tan molestoso pueda tener significado espiritual. Pero en las dimensiones espirituales todo es valido. En la antigüedad, la tradición Cristiana presentaba a la mosca como un símbolo de tentación e impureza. Basado en esto, algunos tarot la incluyen en la Carta del Diablo. Su imagen en esta carta representa impulsos bajos e impuros del comportamiento humano. Sin embargo, en muchas tradiciones Nativo Americanas la mosca es considerada como purificante. En algunos rituales le piden a la mosca que absorba y consuma la mala energía que afecte a algún miembro de la tribu y que vuele y se la lleve. En estas tradiciones la mosca es considerada como una mensajera divina. Este diminuto animal tiene una extraordinaria visión y puede detectar frecuencias imposibles de detectar para nosotros los humanos. A mi me hace pensar que, quizás, el mayor significado espiritual de las mosca es que nos recuerda a expander nuestra visión del mundo.
Gallina Negra – En la dimensión espiritual la gallina negra se le considera un símbolo de limpieza, energía y protección. Sus huevos son usados por curanderos para limpieza y adivinación. El ritual de limpieza incluye pasarle el huevo por el cuerpo a la persona afligida para remover las influencias negativas y limpiar el aura. Luego se pone el huevo en agua y se rompe dentro del agua. La forma que crea el huevo en el agua es interpretada por el curandero para la adivinación. Los trabajadores espirituales consideran que los huevos son productores de vida pero también absorben la energía de la vida. Una limpieza con huevos es atribuida con el poder de absorber la energía negativa y malas influencias que afectan a una persona proporcionando alivio y purificación a la persona afligida.
Alacrán (Escorpión) – Estas criaturas son campeones en el arte de defensa personal y sobrevivencia. Siempre están preparados y listos para protegerse a si mismo. Esta pequeña criatura esta cargada de energía espiritual y de la habilidad de esconderse a si mismo y esconder sus poderes. La aparición de un escorpión puede ser un aviso de la necesidad de protegerse contra algún peligro inminente. También puede significar un recordatorio de no causarles daño o sufrimiento a otros. En la dimensión espiritual esta poderosa criatura representa la transformación, secretividad y el misticismo.
Garrapata – Las garrapatas son adaptables y resistentes. Pacientemente esperan en las sombras y cuando encuentran sus victimas se les pegan hasta la muerte. Quizás sea el poder de permanecía que tienen las garrapatas lo que las hacen tan deseables para trabajos espirituales. Especialmente aquellos trabajos que tienen que ver con amarrar a la persona amada. Muchos trabajadores espirituales usan exactos y aceites diseñados para capturar la esencia de la garrapata para clientes que buscan encontrar y amarrar a una persona. En la tradición Espiritual Nativo Americana, la garrapata se considera como un animal sabio que transmite ideas y tiene gran paciencia e ingenuidad. También tienen la habilidad de usar el calor y el movimiento para poder ver. Sin alguna duda la reputación de la garrapata como un vehiculo para atraer el amor esta bien ganada.
26 Aug 2012
Each one of us can make a difference in our work environment by connecting to our higher self. When we come from love, respect and acceptance we set an example that raises the bar for others and for ourselves…
by Mashi Rahmani, CEO, MMC, Inc.
“Spirituality in the Workplace” is a concept that evolved over my many years of experience managing a thriving corporation. I believe the intentions and motives behind every decision made on behalf of a business, its leadership, and its employees manifest into positive or adverse consequences based on the purity of the original intentions and motivations with which such decisions are made. In
short, ill intentions result in negative consequences. Pure intentions result in positive consequences or success, even if the only positive is a successful learning experience.
Employee morale has a direct influence on productivity, which is why organizations spend large sums of money trying to make working environments comfortable, pleasant, and even luxurious. When sincerity and pure motives are combined with highly developed business leadership and consistent decision making skills, the outcome is a powerful and highly motivated organization. In searching for business solutions, one must be innovative in developing ways to positively impact not only the client but also co-workers and peers. “Spirituality in the Workplace” is more than just a concept; it is a practical method for attaining business success.
Nowadays, it is a proven fact that a strong connection exists between mind and body. Studies reveal how many people who have illnesses, like heart disease or cancer, also suffer from depression as part of a vicious cycle. Physical ailments create emotional depression, which in turn produces stress that worsens the underlying physical condition. Fascinatingly, modern science shows conversely that a positive attitude can improve health which in turn can increase longevity. What a powerful panacea. Extended scientific observations and experiments have also shown that alternative medicine techniques such as meditation, guided imagery, and, even more effectively, prayer can also alter the course of terminal illness, reduce medical treatments, and even minimize hospital stays. Indeed, spirituality and all that it encompasses is critical to good health.
If we subscribe to the theory that “all created matter has a Creator” and “The source of all creation is a higher power which exudes positive energy,” rather than a negative force, we will develop ways to attract the higher energy to fuel our positive mind, soul, and spirit.
As business people seeking success, we should consider new methods and techniques which connect with a Higher Power. Organizations which practice positive psychology and invest in employee motivational programs have been shown
to reap rewards in the form of improved employee performance and self-reported employee satisfaction. These results generally translate into increased sales and ROI (Return on Investment). This is the philosophy that has become a part of my corporate culture at MMC. We have seen the positive results demonstrated through measurable benchmarks for managers and staff alike as “Spirituality in the Workplace” exudes strong work values and moral ethics. When their best intentions direct their efforts, employees do not have to engage in conduct that repents for errors in their work performance.
Practicing “Spirituality in the Workplace” creates win/win results for everyone involved. Employers, employees, and even customers no longer have the need to question the motives of service providers. This brief evaluation of a strategy that has evolved over the past 25 years in my organization is proof that a simple, inexpensive management tool has helped MMC to gain tremendous financial rewards and to train highly motivated employees who genuinely exhibit great respect for one another.
Many organizations spend millions of dollars to develop a work environment purportedly designed to nurture the minds of employees for the benefit of maximizing productivity. The claim, of course, is that the millions invested will lead to higher profitability and an edge over competitors.
Human beings want to be treated fairly, equitably, and respectfully. We are quick to demand respect when we believe the treatment we receive runs contrary to that paradigm. However, our attitudes and entitlement take on a different shape only when we are on the receiving end of the treatment we wish all would aspire to.
A supervisor’s ego should never become an obstacle to developing mutually respectful employee/employer relationships. And managers should never lose sight of the fairness of demands imposed on employees who are being driven to maximize profitability. If managers or business owners considered subordinates’ positions before making decisions that would impact them, decisions might be made differently. Decisions might be made to guarantee fairness and equity that would increase levels of trust and improve interactions between manager and employees. The two would work more like partners focused on the business of producing results.
Now, if the level of mutual respect and love were enhanced, interactions between managers and employees could only result in successful collaboration. Under these conditions, it becomes unnecessary for management to spend valuable time evaluating the sincerity of subordinates, or for employees to question the sincerity of their supervisors’ motives. The time saved from practicing “Spirituality in the Workplace” can assure time for creativity, innovation, and higher productivity with great success. Work places are socio-economic chambers and silos. The environment that an employee arrives to on a daily basis in order to perform and create output for monetary gain can be seen as a vacuum. If an individual arrives at work with the thought that she or he is there to be treated and used as a tool rather than as a contributor to the advancement of the greater community, the results are unpredictable. An employee who feels their performance has an impact on shaping the organization and the larger community, by contrast, exudes confidence and pride that makes his or her contributions to the organization invaluable. The organization that empowers the employee to be a source for delivering fairness, equity, and respect has a major advantage over the organization that limits the employee to merely waiting to receive fairness, equity, or respect from others.
Leaders in corporate America, from the budding business to the most complex, well-established enterprise, need to take a fresh look at organizational goals. Is it the happiness of the employee or the quest of reaching output goals and quotas that drives their business culture? Put plain and simply: happier employees perform better. It behooves managers and business owners then to recognize how spirituality affects the workplace. If we tie personal attributes and abilities to our spirit, which is a driving force for emotions and personal interactions, managers and business owners can begin to open new channels for greater positive energy from an inexhaustible source.
One spiritual commentator describes prayers and mediation as remedies for clearing the clogged arteries of our soul. Because individual needs differ, just as our appetite for food and its consumption varies, I will leave you with this proverbial food for thought. Atthe end of the day, we are all human beings with hearts and souls. Everyone has different lives and different issues; however the one thing that unites us – especially in the workplace—is that we are all trying to do our best and to have our work appreciated, for the benefit of making the world a better place to live. Contentment in the workplace, bred by a sense of spiritual fulfillment, is every bit a valuable commodity. Our attitudes and entitlement take on a different shape only when we are on the receiving end of the treatment we wish all would aspire to.
12 Aug 2012
Your Definition Of Happiness Will Depend On How Awake You Are
What is happiness? The definition of happiness according to Wikipedia is:
“a state of mind or feeling such as contentment, satisfaction or joy.”
The Oxford dictionary definition is “feeling or showing contentment.”
Your definition of happiness is a personal thing and will depend on your level of awareness.
For one person, happiness is a Hamlet cigar and a pint of beer. For another, it is being lost in a computer game. Another may experience happiness through the peace of deep meditation.
Lets talk about the difference between pleasure, joy and bliss and how they relate to different levels of awareness.
All people fall into one of three groups… those who are spiritually awake, those who are asleep and those who are somewhere in the middle.
Your own personal definition of happiness will depend on which of these groups you belong to.
For those who are largely asleep, happiness is sought on the outside and is characterized by pleasure. For those who are caught up in the unconscious thinking, food, sex, relationships, work, entertainment etc serve as distractions from an inner feeling of restlessness and a sense of incompleteness. Happiness derived in this way is fleeting and is inevitably followed, as night follows day, by pain in the same measure.
When engaged in pleasurable activity, a temporary sense of relief is experienced and in this way we become slaves to short-term pleasures such as sex, cigarettes, eating or flipping TV channels.
Longer term pleasures such as relationships or businesses which bring us so much joy one day can become a source of suffering in time … the happy marriage ends in divorce, the successful business goes bankrupt etc
Everything that exists in the world is subject to change and is therefore a shaky foundation on which to base our happiness.
What many consider love in a relationship, for example, is in truth attachment. If I need you for my happiness I cannot really love you.
Attachment is not real love… neediness is not real love. When our happiness is dependent on something external, we will defend it like a lioness defending her cubs. We can never fully rest for fear of losing it. All problems and war on the planet comes as a result of “me” wanting to keep what I perceive as the source of “my” happiness.
Every person, at some point or another, sees the shallowness and futility of the above approach and starts to look around for more. When we begin to awaken through meditation or some other form of spiritual practice, a new energy begins to arise within us.
We begin to feel happy for no particular reason. The world comes to life in an exquisite way and our happiness becomes more of an inner quality than a pleasurable sensation. At this point, our definition of happiness changes. It is more psychological than physiological. Synchronicity begins to increase, feelings of awe and wonder at the marvel of creation arise and we feel a growing sense of connection and meaning with our world… a sense that all is well. Our desires become more refined and we seek quieter, more peaceful activities.
This form of happiness is not an escape from emptiness, rather an outpouring of who we essentially are, as we begin to connect more and more with our true nature. Not being dependent on any external source, it has far greater depth than pleasure derived from food or sex and is freeing rather than enslaving.
The third definition of happiness pertains to that rare group who are fully awake. In this state, happiness is bliss, the highest state. When the experience of a separate “me” has dissolved, all that remains is our true nature of eternal bliss.
So, in conclusion, your own definition of happiness will depend on where you yourself are at. Pleasure is dependent on others, happiness and joy less so and bliss is completely independent of anything. Pleasure is animal, joy is human and bliss is Divine.
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14 Jul 2012
Photo by alles-schlumpf
We usually talk about our physical journeys, but there are plenty of spiritual adventures worth taking as well.
My own spiritual journey began when I picked up a copy of Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. It wasn’t the first “New Age” book I had read, but for the first time, I felt open to receiving the guidance within those pages.
I don’t know whether I was just in the right frame of mind when I came across this book or whether it was Coelho’s parable about life that spoke to me, but from then on, I felt compelled to take Coelho’s words to heart, and look inside myself.
Similarly, the following ten books have been largely influential for spiritual seekers all over the world.
While some are more timeless than others, each will likely inspire to further your own spiritual journey.
1. The Secret
Written by Melbourne television producer Rhonda Byrne, and based on a film she created in 2004 of the same title, The Secret tells of the laws of attraction: Asking for what you want, believing in what you want, and being open to receiving it.
With a historical basis in the 19th century New Thought movement; Byrne’s book has proven to be a cultural phenomenon, making the number one spot on the New York Times bestseller list.
While some consider the book little more than slick marketing and the re-packaging of many other spiritual beliefs, the book’s cultural significance cannot be denied. It remains to be seen whether Byrne’s The Secret will stand the test of time.
2. The Celestine Prophecy
In 1992, author James Redfield wrote and self-published his first book, The Celestine Prophecy. Since its initial publishing, it has gone on to become the most successful self-published novel ever.
The book is part adventure story (think The Da Vinci Code) and New Age spiritual novel. The book details one man’s journey through Peru as he uncovers nine spiritual insights.
While many have found the plot corny, the insights within captivate the reader into shifting their perspective.
3. The Alchemist
Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist tells the simple tale of a shepherd who journeys to the pyramids of Egypt to find his treasure is truly timeless. The lessons told of the discovery of your personal legend, being your one true purpose, and of understanding omens, are ones that speak to all people regardless of religion.
4. The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living
Inspired by the Dalai Lama’s joyful nature despite the political situation in Tibet, author Howard Cutler wanted to write a spiritual book focused towards a Western audience.
The Art of Happiness talks about the importance and attainability of happiness in everyday living. The purpose of life is to find happiness, which is determined by one’s mental state, despite outside circumstances.
This is a book likely to stand the test of time because it speaks to people without the use of spiritual rules or religious guidelines.
5. A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
In spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth, the author talks about reducing the ego as a means to feeling the abundance of life, because the ego is the source of all inner and outer conflict.
Tolle’s New Earth gained in popularity after Oprah selected it for her book club. Since then, Tolle’s book about the awakened consciousness has influenced millions.
6. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
In his classic book, Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Chopra discusses the importance of success in life. For Chopra, success is defined as happiness and the realization of goals, although success is not limited to wealth.
Chopra lays down 7 laws found in nature used to create spiritual success. These laws include karma (cause and effect) and dharma (purpose in life). Chopra’s popularity lies in the way he is able to take ancient Vedic teachings and present them to a Western audience.
7. The Road Less Traveled
Psychiatrist M. Scott Peck’s 1978 The Road Less Traveled book takes his ideas from his background both as a psychiatrist and as a born-again Christian.
His book details the attributes that Peck feels make a fulfilled human being. Split into three sections, his book talks about discipline (as a means for spiritual evolution), love (as a force for spiritual growth) and grace.
Though this book remains popular, some may find the psychological ideas of the book to be somewhat dated.
8. Jonathan Livingston Seagull
The tale has captured readers’ imaginations for nearly 40 years. Richard Bach’s novella reveals the story of Jonathan, a seagull whose passion for flying makes him different from other gulls.
Jonathan’s wish to perfect his flying results in being outcast from his group. At first devastating, the experience culminates in him moving to a “higher plane” where he meets other gulls like him, and his subsequent return to his flock.
Jonathan is a symbol to all those who refuse to conform for the sake of conforming, instead teaching love, forgiveness, and how to reach your true potential.
9. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
After a bitter divorce, author Elizabeth Gilbert took a year off to travel. She visited Italy, where she ate copious amounts of good food. She went to India to learn about spirituality. And finally, ended her journey in Bali, where she was able to discover a balance between the two: love.
Gilbert’s book Eat, Pray Love details the spiritual journey of someone in a tremendous amount of pain, to a balanced, loving human. Her story has resonated with readers everywhere, landing on the New York Times bestseller list, with plans to be made into a movie.
10. Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson
Mitch Albom’s book, Tuesdays with Morrie based on a series of interviews with Morrie Schwartz, his former professor who was dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease, has sold countless copies and inspired a TV movie starring Hank Azaria and Jack Lemmon.
Even after his death, Morrie has continued to touch people as he relates his ideas of love (both accepting love and giving love), shunning popular celeb culture in favor of more nurturing values and non-attachment.
What books have inspired your spiritual journeys? Share your favorites below.
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17 Jun 2012
Developing your intuition and psychic powers can profoundly change your life to the better
How to Develop Your Natural Psychic Abilities with 4 Easy Steps
by Annette Sassou
Maybe you have seen psychics on television or you have had your own psychic experiences that have sparked the idea to tap into your own natural psychic abilities.
One thing is for sure:
Developing your intuition and psychic powers can profoundly change your life to the better.
And you might help others along the way if you choose to.
Using your psychic powers to help others will also increase your own psychic strength.
The question that all my students ask is
“How do I get started to become psychic?”
The answer is simple:
First you need to create the right environment, your divine psychic space where you can practice and meditate.
I am about to reveal to you 4 simple steps to set up your psychic space quickly and easy:
1.Creating your Meditation Niche or Corner
As you probably know, there are many benefits to be enjoyed through meditation.
By meditating daily, you’ll not only handle stress effectively, but you’ll also discover, develop and fine tune your Intuition and Natural psychic abilities that all of us possess!
With your natural psychic abilities, you will be able to interact with other people easily, achieve great outcomes and attract success!
Not a bad ability to have right?
Think about how intimidating your boss is, and imagine if you could somehow send a vibe to him that resulted in him actually being nice to you!
Imagine being able to interact with your colleagues and clients, so you maximize your chances of achieving a positive outcome every time!
Think of the money you could save by doing your own psychic readings.
Or Imagine being able to communicate with your pet!
I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t say no to the ability to do all of these things!
Meditation and setting up your meditation space properly are the first steps to psychic success!
2. Finding the Right Space for Meditation
For meditation, choose a space in your home which is quiet and safe from any intrusions or distractions. You do not want to be distracted at all during your meditation time, because this is your time.
Not only will you look forward to meditate you also will condition your psychic mind to relax whenever you are in this divine space.
Your meditation space should be comfortable for relaxing, and ideally, you should only use this space for your daily meditation.
This way, your mind will be totally clear and you will be ready for meditation when you enter this space.
Choosing a good spot for meditation is pivotal to your success in tuning into your inner psychic and inherent powers, talents and gifts.
3. The Importance of Choosing a Quiet, Private Place
This space is your sanctuary, so you need to keep it safe from intruders and clutter.
For this reason, I recommend you use a private area that isn’t accessed by others.
Good places that might work well for you include your bedroom, a den – even your walk in closet if you are limited with space. Private areas are ideal in creating your place of comfort, relaxation and peace.
Also, in creating your psychic meditation space, try to include all four elements of fire, air, water and earth. These will allow you to better connect with your inner spiritual self and the universe.
Here are some ways you can include these four elements into your space:
- White candles for fire; – Incense and an open window for fresh air; – A table fountain for water; and – A decorative bowl of sand for earth.
These are just suggestions, however choose items you like. You can make changes anytime you like, and you can also draw some helpful inspiration from Feng Shui. Feng Shui helps the positive energy to flow in your house. I found the following site quite useful:
You don’t need to have these items present set out all the time in your space – just when you are ready to meditate.
4. Protecting your Space from Negative Energies
The final task you need to take care of when creating your meditation niche is to protect that space from negative energies.
There are plenty of negative forcesa and people around us, and to enjoy the positive stress-minimizing benefits of meditation, we need to make sure we give negativity the boot!
Only positive energies are allowed into your meditation space, and here’s how you can ensure this is always the case:
Step 1 – Set up your meditation parameters and adhere to them:
You can do this by physically or mentally drawing a circle around the space where you meditate. Try to avoid entering this space unless you are ready to meditate. By drawing your circle, you are reinforcing to yourself and the universe, that this is your domicile for relaxation and meditation. Keep only the necessities for meditation in your circle, like a glass of water.
Step 2 – Perform a ritualistic cleansing of the area to remove impurities and negativity from it:
Don’t worry – no hard scrubbing is involved to clean your meditative area and get rid of negativity!
Absolutely no sweat is required!
By simply lighting white or yellow candles, while thinking of letting all positive energies in, you are cleansing your space.
Always light your candles with this positive purpose in mind. You can even say something aloud while lighting your candles, like, “Please let all the wisdom I need today come to me.”
Dried sage can also be used in a bundle, as can amber incense. Simply light it, blow out the flame and lead the smoke through your meditation area to cleanse it.
Be careful not to overwhelm your room with it. The purpose is meditation, not getting high on sage! After doing this, say, “I hereby release all negative energies, may only positive energies reside here!”
Your area is now cleansed of negativity and ready for meditation and You have now set the stage for your psychic journey!
Peace and Prosperity
© Annette Sassou, The Psychic Institute, 2006 About the author: Annette Sassou is a Medium, Life Coach and Founder of The Psychic Institute. She is a Speaker and Mentor for many students which improved their lifes by tapping into their Intuition and Natural Psychic Abilites She makes it easy to achieve all goals of Health, Career, Relationships, Finances and Love. Receive Your Free Special Report and 5 Free Lessons to Unleash Your Inner Psychic by visiting http://www.GetMindPower.com
03 Jun 2012
God Spelled Backwards
Jean Houston believes pets are more than just furry friends — they can be our spiritual guides and soul companions.
BY: Interview by Lisa Schneider
Jean Houston, a renowned scholar, philosopher, and teacher, has worked as a consultant to the United Nations, UNICEF, and other international agencies. She is the best-selling author of “A Mythic Life,” “The Possible Human,” and “Jump Time.” She was a protégée of Margaret Mead and Joseph Campbell, and currently serves as co-director of the Foundation for Mind Research and the founder of the Mystery School — an institution dedicated to education and the exploration of human potential.In her latest book, “Mystical Dogs,” Dr. Houston explores the ways in which the dogs in her life have guided her on each stage of the mystic path. She spoke with Beliefnet about how we can learn from our animal companions.
You say animals are part of the sacred flow of nature, while humans, on the other hand, are stuck in this “once-removed spirituality.” Are dogs spiritually superior to humans?
[laughs] That’s a funny question. I wouldn’t say anything like that. I would just say that they are closer to nature and thus seem to be on a continuum with the natural flow of things. Obviously humans are much more complex in their spirituality, and in a sense it’s almost the difference between the spirituality of a child and the spirituality of a grownup. Because as grownups we have eros, and aesthetic joy, and passion, and complexity, and the shadows of life that inform our brightness. And I think the same thing is true of animals; it’s just that I think they serve as wonderful guides because of their simplicity and the naturalness of their being.
You seem to be saying that we go backwards spiritually as we evolve; why do you think that is?
I think it’s the humdrum dailyness of everyday, isn’t it, the muchness of our lives, a serial monotony; the living for the object, the goal, the thing. And of course, in our time, the too-muchness of it. At least in the West we’ve put so much of our emphasis on outwardness rather than inwardness and have disturbed the ecology between inner and outer spaces. This is why I think we turn so much to our pets because they remind us of our deeper nature, of what is truly important. And also in a strange way of what we can be. They rest us deeply and give us sudden joys that we have forgotten.
Have you seen the bumper sticker “Lord help me be the person my dog thinks I am”?
[laughs] Yes, I have that. And it’s not a bad idea, that we could become what they see – what with their loyalty, their goodness, their constant presence, their availability to us even when we doubt ourselves. Not to [mention] the fact that they take us on our walks and keep us in shape and restore us to nature and the natural flow of things.
I happen to be a dog person, but I have to ask on behalf of cat lovers, what about cats? Can they also serve as spiritual guides?
Cats are very different from dogs, but I think equally evocative of our spiritual depths — the way they will sit there and look at you and kneed bread on your chest and be so bright and shining. They have a kind of daemonic — not demonic — but a daemonic (as in the old Greek) aspect. They, too, are guides but at the same time they are tricksters who play games with us. Just like great saints and monks and people like Don Juan [laughs] are tricksters and fool our expectations and bring us to new ways of being.
Do you think that we can learn from any animal, or any pet — does that include iguanas and rabbits and birds?
I’ve never had them for long periods of time so I can’t respond to that. People who enter into any kind of bond with any kind of animal certainly talk about this. I’ve been privileged to know some elephants well in my time. I have been just astonished by not just the dignity of their presence but a kind of essential kindness.
It’s not for nothing that we have often given our gods animal visages, animal personalities — witness Ganesha of India. I’ve had the good fortune at one time in my life to spend a great deal of time with dolphins, swimming with dolphins. And I’ve seen extraordinary things. I’ve seen little blind kids be with the dolphins and the dolphins would come by and put their fins in such a way so that they would take the child for a ride, and this was not trained behavior, this was just instinctual.
One of the most popular features ever on our site was called “Do Pets Go to Heaven?” and it got an amazing response from our members. In an online poll, 86 % said yes, and 14% said no, and a raging debate ensued. So what do you think, do pets go to heaven?
That’s why I include in the beginning of the book that wonderful story from the Mahabharata about how the great king goes to the other world and he is refused entrance because he has his dog with him. He says, “I will not enter.” And then the man says, “You have passed the test because anybody who would enter without their dog is not worthy.” [laughs] And that really is my answer. The gatekeeper said, “Come in, come in, you’ve been faithful to the end and so has your dog. Your dog is a living example of the dharma, the way of truth. He has been with you always come in, come in.” And the great king and his dog entered paradise.
What about people who don’t have dogs? Do people with pets have an unfair advantage spiritually?
Well, obviously there are many paths and many ways into the spiritual life. I once discussed this with the Dalai Lama. I work with a small group that meets with him about every year and a half and we discuss and work on world problems. And I had this conversation with him, and I told him about my way with dogs. And he laughed summarily, “Very good way, excellent way! Animals take us to our spiritual depths.” I did see an awful lot of cats there at his house, crawling all around. Whether they were his or not I don’t know.
I just think that people who have an inkling of the glory of an animal’s presence and the beauty and the sympathy – one is in a state of utter sympathy which really relaxes one to deepen into the largest stages of life.
Are we better off spending our time with animals instead of people?
It was Matthew Fox who said his spiritual advisor was his dog. As I say at the end of my book I really have felt the same, even though I have been blessed with extremely wise and deep and beautiful human teachers. With dogs, my experience is that words and theologies are not that necessary. Because with them you are in the presence, you can pat and caress the most holy [laughs]. You can run and play and dance with spiritual company. And you can also enter into profound silence and they are there with you. They are there as copartner and witness and deep friend of our spiritual journey. That’s why since ancient times they’ve always been the guides through our darkness, guides to our greater journey. And that’s why I say at the end of my book, trust your dogs and cats because they know the way to the ordinary extraordinary life in the kingdom.
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19 May 2012
Many people point to the end of the Mayan Long Count calendar on Dec. 21, 2012 as evidence of the coming apocalypse, but astronomers have been quick to stress that there is nothing to be concerned about.
Archaeologists have found a small room in Mayan ruins where royal scribes apparently used walls like a blackboard to keep track of astronomical records and the society’s intricate calendar some 1,200 years ago.
The walls reveal the oldest known astronomical tables from the Maya. Scientists already knew they must have been keeping such records at that time, but until now the oldest known examples dated from about 600 years later.
Astronomical records were key to the Mayan calendar, which has gotten some attention recently because of doomsday warnings that it predicts the end of the world this December. Experts say it makes no such prediction. The new finding provides a bit of backup: The calculations include a time span longer than 6,000 years that could extend well beyond 2012.
“Why would they go into those numbers if the world is going to come to an end this year?” observed Anthony Aveni of Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., an expert on Mayan astronomy. “You could say a number that big at least suggests that time marches on.”
Aveni, along with William Saturno of Boston University and others, report the discovery in Friday’s issue of the journal Science.
The room, a bit bigger than 6-feet square, is part of a large complex of Mayan ruins in the rain forest at Xultun in northeastern Guatemala. The walls also contain portraits of a seated king and some other figures, but it’s clear those have no connection to the astronomical writings, the scientists said.
One wall contains a calendar based on phases of the moon, covering about 13 years. The researchers said they think it might have been used to keep track of which deity was overseeing the moon at particular times.
Aveni said it would allow scribes to predict the appearance of a full moon years in advance, for example. Such record-keeping was key to Mayan astrology and rituals, and maybe would be used to advise the king on when to go to war or how good this year’s crops would be, he said.
“‘What you have here is astronomy driven by religion,” he said.
On an adjacent wall are numbers indicating four time spans from roughly 935 to 6,700 years. It’s not clear what they represent, but maybe the scribes were doing calculations that combined observations from important astronomical events like the movements of Mars, Venus and the moon, the researchers said.
Why bother to do that? Maybe the scribes were “geeks … who just got carried away with doing these kinds of computations and calculations, and probably did them far beyond the needs of ordinary society,” Aveni suggested.
Experts unconnected with the discovery said it was a significant advance.
“It’s really a wonderful surprise,” said Simon Martin, co-curator of an exhibit about the Mayan calendar at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
While the results of the scribes’ work were known from carvings on monuments, “we’ve never really been able to identify a working space, or how they actually went about things,” Martin said.
The new work gives insight into that, he said, and the fact the room had a stone roof rather than thatching supports previous indications that the scribes enjoyed a high social standing.
“It’s a very important discovery. We’re only getting a glimpse of it” in the published paper, said John B. Carlson, director of the Center for Archaeoastronomy in College Park, Md.
“This is an intriguing start for this discovery.”
12 May 2012
Unconditional Love is the driving force behind everyday heroes. Sometimes we don’t have to look much further than beyond our own mother…
By Bud Hennekes
It’s safe to say that one of the greatest feelings in the world comes from the warmth of being unconditionally loved. Whether that mean the love of your spouse or partner, or the connection you share with your mom or dad. Or even the loving bond between your siblings and friends.
I’m extremely grateful for all the love that I’ve had in my young life. But the truth is, there are many parts of the world where unconditional love is lacking. With wars taking place each and every day, messy political battles, starvation, and greed; the world needs you more than ever.
Because even in the darkest of alleys, remains the fact that we as humans are meant to love.
I wrote this essay nearly 4 years ago during my sophomore year of high school, and to me, it captures the essence what unconditional love really is. Certainly, my birthparents weren’t the only ones to show me this mysterious force, but the story carries an invaluable lesson that you can probably relate with.
Unconditional love is the solution to all of the worlds’ ills.
While the details of this story may differ from yours, I ask you to go forth and share the light within you.
This is a tribute to my birth parents – because of their unconditional love I am able to share my passions with the world – I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
The night before, I couldn’t sleep. I lay awake tossing and turning. What was I to expect? What was I to call them? Mom? Dad? I will never forget the day I hugged my birth parents for the first time in a mid-sized chain restaurant. I was 12 years old.
“But why?” I often recall asking my mom, when the subject of being adopted came up. “Because they loved you honey,” she would patiently reply.
Ever since I can remember, my parents have been nothing but honest with me concerning adoption. For this reason, I have become comfortable openly talking about adoption.
I’ve always found it funny, how when a person I know discovers I am indeed adopted, they are always afraid to ask questions. Now, I know they are just trying to be respectful, but I have nothing to hide.
My parents’ honesty and candor regarding adoption has caused me to admire the both of them, greatly. I realize that not all children are as lucky as myself. I have heard stories of adoptee parents who have hid the fact from there children that they were adopted.
This saddens me deeply. Being adopted is nothing to be ashamed about. I am truly grateful for how my life has turned out thus far.
Ryan (at 9 months) who taught the editor (Tina Su) the meaning of unconditional love.
My birth mom at the time of her pregnancy was not married to my birth father, their relationship anything but stable. Receiving news that she was to have a boy, she began to think.
She couldn’t stand the thought of me not having a father; a father to play catch with me outside in the backyard; a father to take me camping on the weekends; a father to give me the always dreaded “birds and the bees” talk.
For this reason my birth parents agreed, for my own well-being that I was to be put up for adoption. For my birth parents to put up their only son for adoption, shows how much they loved me. To do what they did must have been one of the hardest things they had ever done; but when it came down to the future of their baby boy, they knew what they had to do. To this day I thank them.
My parents always wanted to have kids, and like many other families, adoption didn’t even register in their minds. They tried to have kids the “normal” way. Nothing. They tried again and again and again. Still nothing.
Finally after a visit to the doctors they discovered that having biological kids were not part of God’s plan. For a couple whose only dream was to raise their own children, this discovery became -as my parents recall- “one of the lowest points of their life.”
Biological kids may not have been in God’s plan, but the man up stairs had something else up his sleeve.
My parents – still distraught over their inability to have their own children – had nowhere else to go, they turned to prayer. It wasn’t long before their prayers were answered, in a form a of a phone call. A friend of my mom, who ran a daycare center, knew of a lady who’s sister was putting her baby son up for adoption.
My parents jumped on the bandwagon. With in a few weeks I was in their hands. Who said not being able to have biological kids was a bad thing?
It was finally the day! The day I was to finally meet the two people who brought me into this world. I picked out my favorite pair of jeans, a nice t-shirt, and a sweatshirt – in which an outline of snowboarder gracefully covered the front.
My dad, mom, little brother, cousin, and I were to meet my birth parents for lunch. I had been waiting for this moment all my life. Who was I going to look more alike? My mom? My dad? My mind was bombarded with questions on the drive (which seemed like forever) over to the restaurant. We got to the restaurant and parked.
With every passing moment, my heart began beating faster and faster, for reasons I can’t explain. At the last moment I became scared, so scared I almost couldn’t move. We opened the door to the restaurant and walked in. Off to the side, there was a couple with a table reserved. The couple – my birthparents.
The next few minutes are hard to recall, as it all happened so fast. All I remember is hugging both my birth mom and birth dad and feeling a sense of joy fill my body. I was the luckiest kid in the world. I had four parents who would give the world for me. I had seen pictures of my birth parents as a child but nothing beat a real life photograph of them.
We continued on to have lunch, which was filled with lots of questions – none concerning adoption, of course. What was my favorite color? (blue) and so forth. I can honestly say that was one of the best meals I ever had.
Every day, I thank God for how things have turned out in my life. It is amazing how our lives are a mere result of cause and effect. If one small piece of my past were altered, it would change the world today. I respect my birth parents for giving me up, for doing what they thought was right, at the time. This is a pure act of love.
To say they were successful in providing me with a good life would be an understatement. They provided me with the best life a kid could ask for.
I also thank God for not allowing my mom and dad to have biological children, for if that were to have happened, I would have not been adopted by some the most loving parents in the world. I wouldn’t be who I am today, without their guidance and knowledge. This is all part of God’s plan and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
About the Author: Bud Hennekes is an 19 year old college student who believes in living your passions and shares his insights at his blog A Boundless World. His hobbies vary depending on the day but more often than not he enjoys: reading, writing, conversation, meditating, and changing the world. Feel free to subscribe to his blog here.
29 Apr 2012
Our Holiday celebrations reflect who we are. They provide us with an opportunity to connect with the unique cultural heritage that through its traditions forms our memories, our history and our identity. Celebrate yourself!
Article by: Kala Ambrose
Inside each of us at some point in our life, we begin to question our identity. This speculation and musing stems from the desire to establish a connection with something greater while aspiring to answer the age old question that sages, philosophers, fools and scholars have pondered since ancient times. The question that mystifies, delights and frustrates all who attempt to answer it is, Who Am I?
For most of us, the starting point in answering this question, is to first look at our roots and where we come from. The passage of time allows us to reflect upon our history. The holidays and festivals established in our culture create memories with friends and family which are integral to defining who we are and what we revere. Each new generation pulls from these experiences and moves forward taking what we hope, is the best of our heritage to provide a foundation from them to derive comfort and a sense of belonging in the world.
Each country has their unique cultural heritage, formed over hundreds of years of experiences collectively and individually. For the mass majority of people in the U.S., our ancestors arrived here as strangers in a strange land and keeping a bit of their identity and cultural customs helped ease the homesickness on holidays and kept happy memories alive. The U.S. is described as the ‘great melting pot’, rich with a vast mix of cultures enhancing the vibrancy and variety of the country, some of which I just celebrated while returning recently to visit my home state of Louisiana to spend some time in the great city of New Orleans.
As a nation, the U.S. may have one of the most unique cultures, due to the fact that the culture focuses on hopes and dreams for the future, based on the belief that with hard work, perseverence and a bit of luck, one can accomplish anything they desire. As Americans, we are by large, self-made people. For most of us, our ancestors came to this country with little in their pockets, full of hopes and dreams to create a new life. The results have ranged from spectacular to catastrophic, but most would willingly choose one day of freedom in their newly adopted country than to live where they were previously. Self-made people by nature are gutsy, they have that spirit and drive to follow their dreams and using their talents and wits, they succeed. They also have pride in who they are and remember what their parents taught them about respect for those who paved the way before them.
People in the U.S. identify themselves as Americans, but a great majority also love to connect with where their ancestors came from before moving to the United States. Ask any Brit here on vacation, that as soon as an American hears their british accent, they immediately have to ask what part of England they are from and then explain that their great great great great grandfather came from England. This almost always is both amusing and perplexing to the Englishman, who would never think of asking an American in London a similar question. Though back in the 80′s, I did have a conversation with a British woman over the phone, who when finding out that I was living in Texas, wanted to know if I personally knew J.R. and the rest of the Ewing family from the tv show Dallas.
Here in the U.S., we share our pride of our cultural heritage the American way – by throwing a block party and everyone’s invited. I’d like to go on record in saying that this custom may be one of the most important cultural influences of our history. From Mardi Gras, to St. Patrick’s Day, Chinese New Year, Oktoberfest and Cinco De Mayo, Americans love to celebrate and participate in these events around the country, regardless of their own ethnicity. With carnival beads around my neck on top of my Kiss Me, I’m Irish tee-shirt, to eating moon cakes and dressing on occasion like a St. Pauli Girl, I’m as guilty as the rest of them.
Opinions on these celebrations are as diverse as the people in our country. Some feel it cheapens the historical significance of events, by diminishing them to the level of food, alcohol and party favors. Many decry the fact that Americans by large are ignorant of history. I’m not so sure that’s the case, I’ve encountered people all around this country, who have wonderful stories of history, of their home towns, their states, their city blocks, and their farms. History is relative and varies in importance in conjunction to the situation of each individual.
What most Americans understand is the importance of ‘living in the now’. Our ancestors taught us this lesson, they did not focus on what they had left behind or how things used to be, they just rolled up their sleeves and got busy creating their new life. This may be one of the greatest legacies that they have taught us and when we follow our dreams, we honor them and our heritage, both from the past and present.
As a history buff, I’ve spent a great deal of my life studying comparative religions, cultures, philosophies and ancient rites and rituals. I do this because I enjoy it and it’s a personal passion. I also understand that one does not need to know the entire history of a culture in order to participate in a festival. If we really desire to delve into historical significance, let’s begin with the fact that Cinco de Mayo is not a federal holiday in Mexico. It is not celebrated nationally in Mexico and has nothing to do as many think, with Mexico’s Independence Day, which is on September 16th. Cinco de Mayo acknowledges the victory of the Mexican army over the French in a battle in Puebla. Surprised?
So why celebrate Cinco de Mayo? The real question may be, Why not? Commemorations like Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick’s Day, and Octoberfest present the opportunity for Americans to share their cultural pride, heritage and customs with others. These celebrations have inspired school districts across the country to connect these events with lessons plans in geography, history, dance, art and music. In some cities, museums exhibitions and events are connected to the festivities, along with parades and city wide events. And, yes, in many bars and restaurants across the country, people will gather to drink a Guinness on March 17th, a Beck’s in October and a Corona on May 5th. They will raise their glasses in a toast, some in memory of their ancestors, others with pride of their heritage and many who are living in the now, in recognition that we are all one, a band of brothers and sisters called humanity. Here collectively on earth, as we seek to understand who we are, there are days when we still feel like strangers in a strange land. Life passes quickly and for many Americans working hard every day, taking the time to pause and break bread, or corned beef and hash, brats and sauerkraut or chicken enchiladas, with a few friends is a time honored tradition. As an optimist, I see the possibility of greater cultural respect and integration with each generation who shares and participates in these events.
So join me in shaking your maracas and margaritas on Cinco de Mayo. Dance with joy, share some enchiladas with a friend and since we can’t all get to Cabo, Cancun or Cozumel today, live in the now and make it your fiesta getaway for a day. Personally, I’m all for more celebrations and suggest that we root next for Bastille Day, July 14th, right after we make Mardi Gras a national holiday!